Today the symbol of art, chaos and freedom – Tacheles was cleared out. It has existed for 22 years as an Art House and squat.
Originally called “Friedrichsstadtpassagen”, it was built as a department store in the Jewish quarter (Scheunenviertel) of Berlin, next to the synagogue. Serving as a Nazi prison for a short while, it was later partially demolished. After theBerlin Wall had come down, it was taken over by artists, who called it Tacheles, Yiddish for “straight talking.”
“The graffiti-smeared, bomb-damaged building was a major tourist attraction because it gave visitors a taste of the chaotic, heady days of freedom Berlin enjoyed after the Wall fell. But the city has moved on.” (Spiegel.de)
Entering Tacheles, a strong smell of urine hits your nostrils, a dim staircase leads upstairs to the endless pieces of art, for sale. The entire wall space is used for graffiti and posters. The yard is full of crazy constructions and activities. Tacheles has seen a lot.
The city is changing and the buildings are too. Gentrification with its “bright future” kicks in and destroys the history. Tacheles and many supporters from the outside were fighting for its stay until today…
The future concept for the building remains undecided. On September 4th, 2012, the remaining 40-60 artists left peacefully, after pressure from the owner – after 22 years. Not every story ends so peacefully though, more than a year ago The Liebig 14 was violently evicted by 2.500 cops, which led to massive riots and and solidarity demonstarions in Copenhagen in Denmark, Oslo in Norway and Iquitos in Peru.
“Two men clad in black hummed a funeral march.”(Spiegel.de)
Køpi still stays, and remains the oldest squat in Berlin (if not, correct me, but they have just celebrated the 25th birthday).